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The Latin Scot

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Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. On 11/30/2017 at 9:06 AM, Tampa Turtle said:

    I have seen tri-colored Eagle Scout shoulder loops that I was told they got from their counsel store.

    They may have told you as much, but that doesn't make it so. No such loops exist; the only distinctive loops produced by the BSA in the past few years have been the special Jamboree loops, which are NOT to be worn once the event has ended. 

    It seems people just can't bear the thought of looking united as an organization; they just HAVE to find some way to stand out. And they lose something in that desire I feel ...

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  2. When I completed this MB, that's just what I did - I borrowed a pet frog that belonged to a family friend and took care of him for a month while making the requisite observations. I am not a "pet person," but I was absolutely in love with the little guy - it was a red-eyed tree frog, and it was ADORABLE. Reptile & Amphibian Study was one of my favorite MB's to earn, so much so that I still counsel the badge today.


    I suggest either a "loan" of a pet somebody already owns, or regular visits to the same - if you know anybody with an iguana, turtle, frog, whatever, ask if you can make daily/every-other-day visits to check up on the creature, perhaps feed it now and then, or whatever is most convenient for you and the pet owner. It says "maintain" the animal - not necessarily own, nor even keep in your house. As long as you are allowed to feed it (which for larger reptiles isn't very often) and observe it over a month, you should be fine.

  3. Whatever you do, do NOT "just pass him anyway." No boy should earn an award he has not merited, and you would be teaching both him and his parents the wrong principles. NEVER "forget about the requirements and pass (a boy) anyway." That's just not how things are done.


    I would do both a. and b. Talk to his parents and explain that if he does not participate in some kind of outdoor activity, he won't be able to meet the requirement and will thus be disqualified from receiving his Arrow of Light. Remind them that it does not have to be an overnight camp-out. The second set of requirements for the Outdoorsman adventure are specifically designed to service boys who are not allowed to go overnight camping yet. He could join the boys either for the first few hours of the camp-out, or for the next day's activities; he does not have to be there the whole time nor overnight to meet the requirement. 


    If you present a number of outdoor activity options to the family and they still do not bend, then you will just have to let the situation be. It's unfortunate for the boy, but it will at least allow you to maintain the integrity of the program while giving the boy the desire to work harder so that he won't be left out as he grows older and, hopefully, into a Boy Scout troop. But DO NOT give in to pressure to just award the AofL to him anyway. That makes a mockery of the program and is a slap in the face to all the boys who DID fulfill the requirements and worked hard to get that award. 


    Hope this helps!

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  4. Brian, the ultimate measure of maturity is your willingness to do what is right when you know your actions will be opposed or ridiculed. Persecution is the furnace in which great character is forged, and this is a chance for you to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.


    Before you is an opportunity to serve those who served their country against real enemies, people who would take their very lives if they could. They sacrificed their comfort and personal safety, their time, and often their lives, to stand against foes who wanted to destroy the things most dear to them. These were men and women who did the right thing because it was right - not because it was easy. To do them the small honor of lending dignity to their ceremony, at a small sacrifice of your time and comfort, would be a large step in building the character of the man you want to become. 


    I understand what it is to be looked down on by others. When I was in high school lo these many years ago (I graduated in 2002 so I exaggerate a bit), I was bullied and made fun of for all kinds of things - I was small, awkward-looking, and shy. So I had a choice to make - would I let the actions of others determine my right to create a positive experience for myself, or would I take command of myself and choose to have positive experiences despite their attempts to bring me down? And I chose the latter. I ignored their attempts to insult or offend me, I took pleasure in the activities I loved that they mocked, and I was kind to people that were mean to me. I forgave whatever they said or did to me, and continued on with my life. By the time I was a Senior, nobody made fun of me anymore, people started treating me better, and some people even told me as we prepared to graduate that they felt bad about how they had treated me, and wished me success as I went off to college. I made the experience a positive one, even if the circumstances that couched them were not.


    Can you make Scouting "cool" in their eyes? No. But can you follow your passion to gain their respect? Yes. A thousand times yes. It will take time. It will be hard. But your ability to find the joy in your choices is stronger than their ability to put them down. You are doing something to serve people who gave up far more, went through much worse, and deserve something much better. Be the man you aspire to be now, and it will be much easier to maintain that dignity of character later. I pray your efforts will be strengthened as you make the choice you feel is right. Because, as you well know, you have more than enough wisdom to know what the right choice is, and more than enough courage to make it happen. 



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  5. Well after all folks, a Scout is courteous, and that naturally implies a measure of discretion when discussing certain things. Infusing young men with a sense of chivalry has long been one of the lovelier by-products of Scouting.  :cool:

  6. What on Earth does the committee have to do with a boy's performance in his duties? They have no place in the internal affairs of the Troop; if somebody is going to monitor their progress, it's the Patrol Leaders, and they in turn are supervised by the Senior Patrol Leader. and if he isn't doing a good job, the boys themselves make the choice to choose a new one. The committee has no place in any part of this process, and assigning "mentors" is a form of intervention, a sign that they don't trust the boys to be able to learn their responsibilities well enough on their own. The boys deserve better than that - they deserve more trust.


    As soon as your committee takes it upon themselves to intervene in this system, the spirit of Scouting is lost, and the boys lose the opportunity to fully develop their leadership potential because the right to accountability among their peers has been taken from them. My suggestion is to gracefully tell your fellow committee member to check the impulse to manage how the boys run their patrol, and trust that the patrol method works. Because if you let it run its course, it does.

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  7. Apples and oranges.... :) a Cub Scout uniform is not a Boy Scout uniform.  I would not apply "jambo" patches to a Cub Scout uniform, nor would I put a Cub Scout patch on a Boy Scout uniform.


    The grey area lies with the Webelos uniform being remarkably like the Boy Scout uniform.  However, one wears Cub bling on it and takes it all off when he crosses over to Boy Scouts with the exception of the religious knot and AOL if earned and the yellow/orange service stars earned as a Cub.  The Universal Scouting patch and council patch also stay.


    I don't know why the female Cub uniform is still in use.  It would make it easier if they would wear the general uniform for all scouters.  However, with that being said, if they wish to wear the legacy uniforms, wear them with the legacy patches.   


    Granted, although I am not talking about Cub Scout uniforms, NOR the yellow female uniform. The citation I quoted is actually in reference to Cub Scout and female leaders in the general tan/olive uniform. It seems that Cub Scout leaders AND female leaders in the tan/olive uniforms both have the option of putting temporary insignia over the right pocket above the BSA lettering in lieu of what would normally be a space reserved for Jamboree patches. My question was more in regards to whether an item placed in that location replaces what would normally be sewn centered on the right pocket, or if they can be placed there in addition to the same. 


    And to be 100% honest @qwazse, that very thought had crossed my mind as I considered what could be a very awkward visual effect when putting certain patches in certain locations. I think for the time being, I will have Mother place her patch over the right pocket, while putting mine centered right on it with nothing added above. If more light is shed on the issue I can consider further alterations. Thanks all!

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  8. Hey friends! SO my mom is re-working her uniform for her new position as Wolf Den Leader - she has been a Unit Commissioner for the past 6 years, so there's a lot of little things she has to change (loops, patches, et cetera). As she has been doing so, she has wanted to add a few patches she has received over the past year, and so whilst looking up patch placement on the official Uniform Inspection Sheet, she found this little clause in the section on "Right Pocket":


    "Temporary insignia, including one current world Scout jamboree patch, centered on pocket. Only one temporary insignia may be worn at a time, and they are not required for correct uniforming. Cub Scout leaders and female leaders wearing the official uniform shirt or blouse may wear one temporary insignia centered above the Boy Scouts of America strip."


    So first of all, I had never realized that Cub and female leaders could put one temporary insignia over the right pocket! I thought that space was ONLY reserved for Jamboree patches, so to suddenly find out that that isn't always the case is kind of cool! But this little tidbit of uniforming minutia raised an issue my mom then asked about which the official writing doesn't make entirely clear.


    It's obvious that a temporary insignia may be worn on the right pocket, and that ONLY ONE may be worn. But it's ALSO clear that a temporary insignia can be worn above the right pocket. So, is this to be read as: 

    1. you may only wear ONE temporary insignia, and that it must EITHER be placed on OR over the right pocket,

    OR, that

    2. Cub/female leaders may only wear ONE patch on the pocket, AND only ONE patch over the pocket, in addition to the one on it? 


    Any insight would be great; we are of course looking for the official stance on this matter; we want to do this up right, and while we aren't looking to be "uniform police," we don't look down on them as much as some people seem to (I think the hostility is usually an excuse to get away with uniform violations anyway, lol). So yes please - anybody who can clarify would be much appreciated!

  9. I have a few pouched items on my belt at all times - my multi-tool, compass, phone case, flashlight, and key fob. I haven't needed to get any special kind of belt system to hold them in place; all of their pouches have belt loops already so they stay just fine on my normal Scout belts. 


    I do have a question about what belts may or may not be okay regarding the program one serves in. My mother, bless her heart, just agreed to be our new Wolf Den Leader. It's really a huge coup for our Pack to have her serving now; two of my nephews are brand new Wolves this year, and as she has more than 30 years experience Scouting, she figured she couldn't say no! But she wants to know if it's okay for her to wear the blue Cub Scout belt in lieu of the green Boy Scout one - she feels it's more flattering on her figure, and that it ties in the colors from her shoulder loops/neckerchief/position patch. Trusting that her feminine sensibilities are sharper than my own sartorial sense, but unsure of the official policy, I ask you friends for your opinions:


    can a lady Scouter wear the blue Cub Scout belt with her uniform?


    Is there even policy regarding such a thing? Considering the official and bureaucratic nature of uniforming, I would imagine there is. Any help would be great; thanks! 

  10. I have been a Webelos Den Leader for a couple of years now, and I have found that the best way to prepare my boys for the transition to Boys Scouts is to put a lot of emphasis on the Scouting Adventure adventure and then spread its activities out over the course of the year. 


    For one, my boys start using the Boy Scout sign and salute as soon as they enter my den. We begin every meeting with a full-on flag ceremony, the reciting of the Oath, Law, and Outdoor Code, and a question drawn from the requirements for that adventure - what do the two stars on the 1st Class emblem represent? Who signs a blue card? What is the Boy Scout slogan? Et cetera; I make sure they are reviewing at least one or two principles at every meeting.


    Another thing I do is to really emphasize the transition from being in a Den to being in a Patrol. I make the position of Denner a little more important than it would have been in Bears or Wolves. The Denner opens the meeting, meaining he has to ask boys to run the flag ceremony, offer the opening and closing prayers, and read the announcements that I have printed out on the podium. I then let the boys decide in which order we will run out meeting's activities; if they want to do the game first, or the adventure requirements, or whatever - they get to decide, with the Denner having the final say.


    I make our Den identity a big part of our group's culture. Our flag is a big deal, and carrying it in our flag ceremonies is something the boys will fight over if not supervised - they really care about it! They all have a little streamer with their name attached, made by themselves, and they love reading the names that have moved on to Scouting - I add a fabric Webelos pin to a boy's streamer when he earns that rank, another with the Boy Scout symbol when he earns his Arrow of Light (to show he is ready to become a Boy Scout), and when they start earning their Eagles I will add another pin with the Eagle emblem to the streamer of all boys who achieve that rank. The boys LOVE looking at what others have done, and it motivates them to do so as well. We use our Den yell wherever we go, and I talk to them constantly about carrying over that Den spirit on to their Patrols when they become Boy Scouts.


    I also remind them that the requirements for the Scouting adventure are the same as those required for the rank of Scout; my expectation is that they can go to their new Scoutmaster when they cross over and pass off their Scout rank at the first meeting they attend. So I talk to the boys about what that entails, and what they will need to know. Usually the boys want to make a good impression when they pass over, so they work really hard to be ready. Also, I always devote the last meeting I have with any of my boys to going over the requirements and prepping them emotionally for the change that's about to happen. So far I have never had a boy drop out of Scouting, so fortunately it seems the method has been working so far. But you have to adapt it to each boys; some are ready to cross over right away, others require more one-on-one prep time before they really feel ready. Just let them know you are there to help them and that you believe they will succeed in Scouting, and they likely will trust you.


    The most important this is to get them EXCITED to become Boy Scouts! The Webelos program really is one of the most important years in a boy's Scouting career - it defines what he will remember of Cub Scouts, and how he will prepare for Boy Scouts. Make it the best that you can!

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  11. ... or how skinny you are. My brother had to get a customized shirt when he was the Cubmaster for his first son's Pack; he is 6'2 but has a 14" neck and a 31" waist. Oh, and his arm span is 6'5 (long, ropey arms define the anatomy of my family. We're basically built like gibbons, lol).


    Luckily I am much shorter and not quite as slender as he is, so I get by with my off-the-rack shirt for now. But I am saving up for a nice, new, well-fitted shirt and fitted pants so that my Scout uniform can fit as nicely as the rest of my wardrobe. Thanks for letting me know the price range for these things!

  12. I'm sorry that you feel so grief stricken.  Please know that, many many of us are still here, toiling away at delivering the same amazing program to all who wish to participate - along with millions of our brothers and sisters across the worldwide Scouting movement.

    The same program! Ha. The program is dying, and all the talk in the world won't change that. You can claim to be delivering the "same amazing program,", but it isn't that now, is it? That program is dead. If only the world could all see that.

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  13. I am a smaller guy, and so not all of my patches fit on my sleeve above the cuff. After the council strip, veteran unit bar, troop numerals, and position patch, there was just barely enough room at the edge of the sleeve to squeeze on my trained patch. I am a pretty fine tailor so I had the others all lined up as neatly and closely as could be, but there just wasn't room above the cuff for that last item, so right on the cuff my trained patch lies, with maybe a few centimeters between the bottom of it and the edge of the sleeve. All of the patches run right up against each other, with no space whatsoever between them.


    It's not aesthetically pleasing, especially for a guy like me with snobbish sartorial sensitivities AND a mild case of uniform perfectionism, but I have to remember that it's not about looks - it's about good uniforming. So I am willing to sacrifice what looks good for what is right, and it sets the right example for the boys while teaching myself the right lesson. 

  14. As I related on another thread some time back, my BALOO training was, for all intents and purposes, awful. Just, absolutely the worst. What was supposed to be an "all day session of the most fun training you'll ever have!" (as the syllabus claimed) actually consisted of 90 minutes of some old cynical Scouter complaining about how he didn't want to teach the course in the first place, then showing some irrelevant powerpoint slides on camping gear he liked, a handout with long-outdated BSA policies (like, from the 80's before I was even born), and then the signing of our cards to indicate we had been "trained." It was one of the most excruciatingly boring and useless training sessions I have ever had the misfortune of enduring - and I usually love training meetings! I ended up downloading the course materials so that I could train myself, but it was abysmal.


    I ended up writing a detailed, polite yet rather blunt review and critique of the trainer, his "course materials," and whole fiasco, and sent it to the Council for review - since this was offered at our yearly University of Scouting training event, which is otherwise a really wonderful program, I felt they needed to be aware of this massive blight on their course offerings. As a result, I notice that this year they no longer offer BALOO at the event, but instead have it calendared as a designated, all-day, course-specific activity at our nearest Scout Camp later this month. I hope that maybe my input contributed to waking them up to the situation so that they felt prompted to reassess how they ran the course. But at any rate, it seems upcoming trainees will have a far better experience than I did. 

  15. I must correct the false information posted here before it explodes into false rumors and spreads beyond this thread. 


    I just saw a copy of the newest batch of youth applications.  I quote:


    Joining Requirements


    Cub Scout Pack

    Pack membership is open to youth in kindergarten through fifth grade...


    Boy Scout Troop

    Children can be Scouts if they have completed ....


    ** It no longer says boys or your son..   I think national already has a plan underway.

    Clearly you did not read the application very carefully. Or you have misquoted it, though why I can only imagine. 


    My friends, I have in front of me a youth application, picked up a few hours ago from my regional Scout Service Center. It is the latest and most current application to come from the BSA. Under the heading "CUB SCOUT PACK," on the second page inside, it says "Pack membership is open to boys." No further comment. Under "BOY SCOUT TROOP/VARSITY TEAM," it says under the heading Boy Scout Troop "Your son can be a Scout if he has completed ... et cetera, while under Varsity Team is says "Varsity Scouting - A male youth must be at least 14 years of age and not yet 18." Both are explicit. There is no room for misunderstanding or re-interpretation.


    To differentiate those programs from a program that actually is co-ed, it reads under the heading "VENTURING CREW/SEA SCOUT SHIP (COEDUCATIONAL)" (for emphasis I am sure) "Venturing and Sea Scouting are for young men and women at least 13 years old ..." et cetera.


    All are very clear. There has been no change to this application. I called my regional offices to confirm as an added measure of certification to my research. They confirmed that there is no "newer application," and that there is no plan to open either Boy Scouting or Cub Scouting to girls at this time.


    To spread the false rumor that the application is accepting girls is unwise and unwarranted. Why would National secretly try to smuggle such a massive change into the program under our noses? Would they really be so idiotic as to think they could slip in such a bombshell without anybody noticing? Of course not. If they ever did make such a decision it would come with trumpets blaring and fanfares and all kinds of nonsense. They wouldn't bury clues in the applications as though this was some second-rate mystery for the members to find and try to solve.

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  16. I INTENSELY oppose the first and third suggestions. I am confused by the second one, though. When you say "the creation of a parallel program," isn't that exactly what groups like the Girl Scouts or the Campfire Girls are doing? Why expect the BSA to come up with such a thing when there are plenty of other programs doing just that?  People say "the Girl Scouts won't change," and so they leave them alone. But when the Boy Scouts don't change, NO! We much MAKE them change! Why then afflict the Boy Scouts instead of accepting what our program is, like you seem content to do with the Girl Scouts? It's a double-standard, and it reeks of ulterior agendas. 


    I grow weary of people who basically want to take advantage of a respected program like the Boy Scouts of America, and change it into what they want just to meet their own agenda, rather than having the courage and work-ethic to create what they want on their own. If they want a program that offers BSA-like opportunities to girls, great. Create something. Don't demand that the BSA alienate thousands, or even millions, of faithful participants just so that they can get what they want without all the work. 


    They want the BSA's resources, its properties, its opportunities, the respect it has spent 107 years cultivating, the legacy it has worked so hard to build - but at the cost of changing the fundamental character of the organization. And that character is a program built to help mold young boys into fine, honorable, hard-working men who will contribute to our countries citizenry in meaningful ways. The WAY that it does so has been honed over the years to be exactly what boys need. It is NOT what girls need. Girls are different than boys. They develop differently; they experience the world differently; they have their own powerful gifts and sensibilities that deserve to be cultivated with the same attention and nourishment and nurturing that the boys get in the BSA - but the BSA does not cultivate the gifts of girls to the extent they need and deserve. Just because a girl might love the same activities as a Boy Scout does not mean that the Boy Scout program will nurture her growth into a young woman to her fullest potential. To force the program to accept girls would necessary and unavoidably compel it to make fundamental changes in how it is run, how it is organized, and how it operates, and those changes would lessen the influence on the boys while failing to provide enough of the right influence for the girls.


    I understand if others feel differently, but I have yet to have placed in front of me one single argument that could make sense of such a transformation of the program to me. It is a perilous idea, and I care too much about the youth of today to possibly contemplate it. As an educator, a child development specialist, an uncle, a Scouter, and a friend of who-knows-how-many young people, I cannot condone such a move. 

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  17. I actually feel just as uncomfortable with the idea of Cub Scouts going co-ed as I do with the Boy Scouts considering the same. They are far younger and more impressionable at that age, and for them to be raised in a setting where we are basically telling them that there is no difference between the two sexes is, to me, highly objectionable.


    That said, I don't believe it is wise nor productive to waste time speculating on whether or not it is going to happen. As of right now, it has not, and any local units doing so, do so against official BSA policy. But I know that I would not allow any girls to join my group, and if a parent were to ask, I would politely inform them that the Cub Scouts is a program for boys, and that I cannot accept their daughter as a member. But I would also suggest to them one of the MANY alternative programs that are available for girls which wouldn't require a 100-year-old program to change the fundamental nature of its organization, one that isn't even designed to fully meet the needs of girls anyway.  :cool:

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  18. I notice that in ALL of the examples you provide, it either states simply that the unit leader gives information for a merit badge counselor or recommends the name of one to the Scouts. In NO instance does it say that the unit leader can deny a boy the right to work with a different counselor. Yet all of them mention the phrase "district/council approved merit badge counselor," which implies that the power to make that approval decision lies in their hands, not the unit leaders'.


    The Scoutmaster has the power to offer and recommend names, but ultimately he cannot approve or disapprove of a counselor - only the district or counsel wields that kind of authority, as made explicit in the very examples you give. If a boy wishes to use a counselor other that the one suggested by his unit leader, that is his right. Regardless of the unit leader's fears that a parent might be too easy or too hard, it is still outside of his power to prohibit his Scouts from working with them on merit badges. If he were to try to invoke such a privilege, the boy could easily dispute it at the district or council level, since they are the ones with the power to decide - and they are not likely to cede that power to the unit level except in rare and unusual cases. 

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